Respondus Lockdown Browser

  • Faculty & Staff

Many faculty want students to use computers for taking quizzes or tests, but also want to prevent access to the internet or other resources during the test. The Respondus Lockdown Browser is a special web browser that students can use when taking tests in Canvas.   Once a test is started, students are locked into it until they submit it for grading; they are unable to access other web sites or programs. The Lockdown Browser is intended for use in on-campus, proctored settings.

Lockdown Browser Logo

The Lockdown Browser can support — but not replace — the proctor's role for on-campus exams. Proctors still need to assure that students are not using a smartphone or other device to access information,  are not copying from or collaborating with each other, etc. It is not suitable for take-at-home exams.

Faculty interested in using it for their classes should review the information below and complete the form at the bottom of the page.

The Respondus Lockdown Browser can only be used for quizzes or tests delivered through Canvas. It is primarily intended to be used by students on their own computers. However it may be possible to reserve a computer lab for tests.


What faculty need to do

  • Let SAS Computing know about your interest.  Complete the form below and we'll follow up to guide you through the process of setting up and using the Lockdown Browser. Please give us as much advance notice as you can (at least 2 weeks) to set things up and show you how they work.
  • Determine if it's practical to administer your test on computers. Do your students all have laptops? Does the classroom have sufficient electric outlets and wireless networking capacity? Do you need to reserve a computer lab? SAS Computing staff can help you answer these questions.
  • Consider how to accommodate students who don't have a computer. Can you make a paper version of the test available as an alternative?
  • Prepare the quiz or test in Canvas and configure it to require the Lockdown Browser. 
  • Post instructions for students on your Canvas site so they can install the Lockdown Browser and know what to expect.
  • Setup a sample quiz so students can try out the Lockdown Browser prior to the actual quiz or test. 
  • Provide a proctor in the classroom at the time of the quiz or test.
  • Bring a few paper copies of the exam in case students haven't followed the instructions or have trouble with the software. We can’t guarantee that support staff will be available to respond immediately to technical problems in the exam room, so paper is the best backup.

What students need to do

  • A few days before your first test:
  1. Download and install the LockDown Browser on the computer you will use when taking tests in class.
    Free download is available from Mac and Windows versions are available; sorry no Linux, iPad or Android support at this time.  Please check with your instructor if you don't have a Mac or Windows laptop.
  2. Make sure you have set up Two-Step Verification and preferably the Duo Mobile app in case your phone doesn't get good reception in the classroom. (Duo Mobile works over WiFi, but text notifications from Two-Step Verification don't work over WiFi.)
  3. Complete a sample quiz using the LockDown Browser.
    a. Using the same computer that you will bring to class for your actual test, launch the LockDown Browser.
    b. You may be prompted to close some programs that are open in the background on your computer (eg. Instant Messenger programs). Click on Kill these applications in order to continue.
    c. Login with your PennKey to enter Canvas; select the relevant course site.
    d. Click on the Quizzes button in the Canvas course menu (on the left side of this page).
    e. Click on  Sample Quiz for Respondus LockDown Browser and take the quiz.  It will only take a few minutes.
    f. You will NOT be able to take the actual test for this course until you have completed the sample quiz.
    g. You will not be able to install the LockDown Browser and complete the sample quiz on the day of the exam. If you haven't done this in advance, you will have to take the exam on paper.
  4. If you are unable to complete these steps, please contact Be sure to indicate which class is requiring the Lockdown Browser.
  • When coming to class on the day of the test:
  1. Be sure to bring the same computer that you used for the sample quiz.
  2. Be sure to bring your phone and you have WiFi enabled on it, so you can do Two-Step Verification.
  3. Come with a fully charged laptop battery. You may not have access to electric outlets in the classroom.
  4. Start your laptop, and verify that you have good internet access by visiting any website you'd like.
  5. When it's time to take the test, launch the LockDown Browser and follow the same procedure that you used for the sample quiz.
  6. When instructed by your teacher or proctor, start the test.
  7. If you have trouble with the software and restarting your computer doesn't help, ask your teacher or proctor for a paper test.
  8. Do not submit the test until you are sure that you are finished. Once submitted, you will not be able to re-open the test.

Interested in using the Lockdown Browser?

Please complete this form and a member of the SAS Computing staff will follow up soon.